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Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: When Reasons Collapse - Omen Of The Banshee


When Reasons Collapse, what’s in a name, is a Paris, France based quintet consisting of four men and a woman. Founded in 2008 they play death-/metalcore with brutal female vocals, which are the responsibility of vocalist Christina. Along her side she finds, in no particular order, Thierry and Julien on guitar, Michaël on bass guitar and Guillaume on drums. Up until today they have three releases under their belt, two demos and a full-length and they are on the brink of releasing their latest work, a full-length called Omen Of The Banshee. And that about sums up what the band members allow the world to know about them. Besides, the term ‘full-length’ must be used loosely considering the fact the album lasts only a pinch over thirty minutes. Having said that, the length of the album does not take anything away from the experience the nine songs offer you, so it’s not really an issue.

On to the tunes themselves then. After a 2-minute intro song that, due to its nature, does not actually serves its purpose, which is introduce what is yet to come, the album kicks into gear with Lies of God, which to me is a bit of a false start. The timing of the vocals is, especially in the faster parts of the song, slightly off at times, not really fitting the rhythm of the song. That seems to be a one-off miss, because during the rest of the album that problem is not that distinctly audible anymore, though not completely gone. Nevertheless WRC definitely shows potential with this release. Not only do they produce a massive wall of sound, they also manage to canalize that wall into bite size chunks of aggressive, brutal yet melodic metal with a touch of subtlety. Christina has an impressive throat that is capable of both higher and lower pitched grunts, growls and screams, although I personally like her better in the lower section. Both guitarists seems to know exactly what the other is doing, their riffs and lines intertwine nicely with both each other and the rest of the instrumental lines of the songs. The rhythm section parts are equally designed to fit the song like a glove and are equally skillfully executed. There’s room to shine and frolic for all throughout the songs, a definite plus for the album in my opinion. Despite being sometimes little more than a single riff or drum line, those intermezzos break the tension for a bit thus keeping things interesting without having too much influence on the song structure and atmosphere.

In short, Omen Of The Banshee, with great artwork I might add, offers a stiff half an hour of music that will crush you, but still has plenty of variety to avoid it sounding like an indigestible chunk of sound. And in all honesty, with this collection of songs, packed with heaviness and speed, it feels like a hell of a lot more than just thirty minutes, which is a good thing of course. Apart from the intro you will have eight songs that all fit the death-/metalcore genre unleashed on you, without either one of them being comparable to the other structure-wise. They all have that oppressive, aggressive, agitated atmosphere inherent to the type of metal and its accessory vocals. Even the slower parts breathe that tension. At the same time the guys and girl added various, at times only tiny intermezzos to the songs, lightening up the atmosphere just enough to keep you focused. An exception to this is the album closer Lost which is rather subdued compared to the other songs. There still is that atmosphere of oppression, but without the sharp edges it has in the other songs, calming your tortured nerves. I think WRC did a great job with this release, although you have to know and appreciate the type of music to thoroughly enjoy this. Highlights are Omen Of The Banshee, The Raven and Δ. [Orpheus].

Written by Henric van Essen

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